The 5 Fastest Fillies & Mares to win the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs

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November 20th, 2021

Beginning in 1986 as the Churchill Downs Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Handicap, this good prize for fillies and mares was renamed the Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap in 1996 and then the Chilukki Stakes in 2005.

It’s usually been a target for those just outside the best class, but nonetheless there are some distinguished winners. Here are five of the fastest females to take the prize:

Chilukki (2000)

Why not start with the champion filly who gave her name to the race? She won her first six races, five of which were graded, including the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Oak Leaf (G1) before being outfinished by Cash Run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). She found it harder going at three until the fall, and set a record which still stands in this race of 1:33.57. She won 11 of her 17 starts and $1.2 million.

Lakeway (1995)

Bred in the purple, by Seattle Slew out of an Alydar mare, Lakeaway lived up to that breeding by winning the Las Virgenes (G1) and Santa Anita Oaks (G1) before falling to Sardula in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). She later won the Mother Goose (G1) and Hollywood Oaks (G1), and the following season came back to finish third to Inside Information and Heavenly Prize in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). It was after this race that she came to this race, which she won by 4 1/2 lengths. Won 7 of 14 and $965,000.

Educated Risk (1994)

Won the Frizette S. (G1) before being beaten by Eliza in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Unable to win in four three-year-old starts, her best effort being second in the Acorn S. (G1), she improved at four and finished second to Heavenly Prize in the Beldame (G1) prior to lining up in the Churchill Downs Distaff. Her six-length victory began a run of five consecutive victories to finish off her career, which included the Top Flight H. (G1) and three other graded races. Won 11 of 23 starts and $1.16 million.

Don’t Tell Sophia (2013)

A slow-maturing mare, Don’t Tell Sophia didn’t hit her stride until she was five, finishing third in the Apple Blossom H. (G1) and winning a Listed race at Indiana Grand prior to heading to the Chilukki. Settling last, Don’t Tell Sophia made her way past her rivals and hit the front in the stretch, drawing away for a 2 1/4-length win. She was even better at six, winning the Spinster S. (G1) prior to finishing second to Untapable in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Eventually she won 11 of 24 starts and $1.38 million.

Molly Morgan (2014)

Another slow to mature, Molly Morgan didn’t take on stakes company until she was four, at her 13th start. It wasn’t until she was five that she shone at the top level, finishing second in the La Troienne (G1), winning the Fleur de Lis H. (G2) and the Gardenia S. (G3), and finishing third in the Spinster prior to contesting the Chilukki, which she won easily. She won the La Troienne again the following year. She took out 8 of her 29 starts and won $882,000.